Clinical Trials Program
Sharon Richter, BSN, RN, CCRC, OCN, Clinical Research Nurse, Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health, and Mary DeShields, MD, Medical Oncologist
The Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is actively participating in clinical trials for cancer treatment and prevention. On average 16 clinical trials are available for a variety of cancers. The Center is a member of ECOG-ACRIN - a cooperative group formed by the merger of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) - and the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU). It is affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Currently, less than 5% of adult cancer patients enroll in trials. The main reason for this is a lack of awareness of available clinical trials. Most, if not all, major advancements in the treatment of cancer have come as a direct result of patient participation in clinical trials.
A clinical trial is a study designed to evaluate the potential benefit of new treatments. The goal is to find better ways to prevent, detect, or treat cancer, or to improve care for people with cancer. Most of the trials available through the Clinical Trials Program at UM Shore Regional Health compare the standard, or most accepted treatment, versus a new treatment.
The goal of the program is to increase the number of patients enrolled in clinical trials by offering high quality trials in the region served by UM Shore Regional Health. In the past, patients were required to travel long distances to university hospital settings in order to participate in a clinical trial; the Cancer Center now makes it possible for patients to access clinical trials close to home. Patients can participate in select trials under the care of their local oncologist or surgeon.
Clinical research offers hope for today and promise for tomorrow.